When I first met Tom, he was the quintessential band geek. For god’s sake, we met at band camp. He ate, drank, breathed, lived all things band and drum corps. He knew the top corps since the beginning of time, could list in chronological order the Bands of America Marching Band Championship winners, and read wind ensemble scores for fun. Not kidding. We went to several corps shows together, took A to the Colorado marching band championships when he was six months old (he was in the baby carrier, zipped into my leather jacket–one of the more adorable photos of his infancy), and would argue the finer points of wind band music with other band geek friends over dinner. He proposed at a band convention. Band. Geek.
Until we met, he didn’t drink, swear, suck down coffee like a vampire sucks blood, or know how to drive in Chicago rush hour traffic (somewhere there is a grey Chevy Cavalier with deep fingernail gouges in the dashboard from the first time he drove into the city with me in the car). Yes, I have corrupted the man. He likes it.
He also hated, nay, despised sports. Football was the reason the marching band field was always unavailable or torn to hell when it was. Sundays were for listening to the judges’ comments from the marching competition the day before.
Then he boarded the train to Crazytown.
We moved to Boulder in 1997. Little known secret about Colorado and the Front Range: if you move there and don’t become a Broncos fan, they escort you to the border and leave you to the wilds of Wyoming or Kansas or (shudder) Nebraska. We were new to the area and the band directors and musicians we hung out with were all rabid Broncos fans. And so we became fans as well. Their first Super Bowl win was that winter, their second the next year. We were hooked.
Tom is, and always has been, an overachiever. He was hooked, reeled in, and displayed on the wall.
The last several football seasons have been dark days for Broncos fans. Last year’s elimination from the playoffs was especially sad, as we blame it entirely on craptastic ref calls. But the sun has returned this year, in all its blazing orange glory. And Tom has gone a little, shall we say,
crazier than a shithouse rat nuts.
Tom got into the habit of popping open a Fat Tire at halftime. And then the Broncos started winning. A lot. Until the game against the Colts in October. He didn’t have his Lucky Halftime Fat Tire then, and they lost. Fluke, you say? At the end of November, against the Patriots, he skipped it because it was a night game and we’d just killed a bottle of wine with dinner. They lost in overtime. In December, against the Texans, their playing could best be described as “meh” until we finally made it to my uncle’s house and he dashed inside, popped open the bottle clutched in his feverish little hands, and watched the Broncos break a gazillion records on their way to another W. That it was on my uncle’s ginormous projection screen/wall was just the icing on the cake.
My husband is now conductor of the Crazytown express, and has me selling tickets for the trip.
Things I have done this season: I have opened his Fat Tire at halftime and poured it into a glass, waiting for him to return from a Scouting event. I have had to ask The Facebooks if switching to bottles from cans mid-season would be cause for alarm. I have heard “it’s only weird if it doesn’t work” more times than I can count. I’ve had to stay completely caught up on laundry, to make sure his favorite Broncos shirt (seen above) is clean and ready for service; he has been known to wear it still damp from the washer. Last night I replenished his hoppy supply and had a moment of panic when I realized that OH MY FAINTING GOAT the label was different. I hated to tell my
batshit crazy loving husband because I knew he’d hyperventilate a little (and he did), and there were a few shaky minutes when I couldn’t fit the six-pack into the fridge and had to decide if I make room or remove each bottle from its comfy little cardboard home (I made room). But we got through it, we got through it.
This Sunday is the DO OR DIE game, again against the Patriots. Needless to say, every one of our Broncos fan friends have checked in with us to make sure we are well stocked with Fat Tire. The game is on the calendar to prevent double-booking, and his lucky shirt is clean.
My band geek at heart husband is now a deeply superstitious Broncos fan (and god help us when the Cubs finally have a winning season). This weekend there will be no Sunday paper, no marching band recaps, no discussions on the merits of wind band literature. But there will be Broncos and Fat Tire.
Because god help us if he doesn’t get that beer.